Hi readers, thought I’d do a review of one of my favourite books, The Reason, by William Sirls.
“Only Believe.” That’s a main caption of the story, and sums up story in one sentence. Let me elaborate.
The story is complex and involves several characters all centered around one anchoring object that holds the story together, a cross. It begins with a bang as a bolt of lightening strikes the cross in half. It’s then this mysterious carpenter appears in town and begins to do things that aren’t normal. Who is this guy? That’s for you to find out.
The characters involve a mother whose son is diagnosed with leukemia, a doubting doctor whose past haunts him, an alcoholic who is on the verge of suicide, and a blind pastor with a retarded son.
The story revolves around the cross being mysteriously repaired by the carpenter and things escalate down from there. When I say down I don’t mean bad, I mean depressing.
This whole story is very depressing and deals mostly with a child’s slow death. Those who don’t like sad stories will definitely not like this one. I myself could hardly read the last quarter due to its dark and depressing story line.
(Major spoiler alert.)
If you are worried about the ending and questioning if it ends on a hopeful level, don’t worry. In the end the stranger appears at the church where the boy’s mom is crying. He’s holding the boy’s hand and the mother and son unite for a happy ending.
(End of spoiler)
Overall this is an amazing book about faith and the broken human condition. Though it isn’t without its flaws. First off the writing isn’t the best I’ve read, it’s just average. The story at times was very similar to the Joshua novel by Joseph F. Girzone, and at times it moves very slow. The last 150 pages are nearly entirely set in a hospital and seem to stretch forever. There are quite a lot of characters, but compared to Peretti’s novels it isn’t much.
So now I’ll deal with the content: Spoilers may follow.
Violence: There are a few scenes at a bar where characters beat each other up. A girl jumps off a bridge but we later see that she is okay. The whole story is about a boy with cancer so that may be regarded as violence.
Sex: None, except for one scene where a girl wakes in a married man’s house with a vomit stain on her shirt. The daughter of the man comes in and says “You shouldn’t have kissed Daddy. Only Mommy can kiss Daddy.”
There is nothing objectionable in this book, but it isn’t for everyone. Even though the ending portrays hope, it dwells so much on hopelessness that the writer could’ve cut a good 50 pages or more out easily without effecting the story. So in the end, I’d highly recommend this incredible story by William Sirls, with some slight caution due to upsetting scenes.